Encyclopedia Astronautica
Orion


Domestic communications satellite network.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Eurostar 2000 French communications satellite. 24 launches, 1988.03.11 (Telecom 1C) to 2006.11.08 (Badr 4 ARABSAT 4B). More...
  • HS 601 American communications satellite bus. First launch 1990.01.09. 3-axis unified ARC 22 N and one Marquardt 490 N bipropellant thrusters, Sun and Barnes Earth sensors and two 61 Nms 2-axis gimbaled momentum bias wheels. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas IIA American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas IIA was a commercial derivative of the Atlas II developed for the US Air Force. Higher performance RL10A-4 (or RL10A-4-1) engines replaced Atlas II's RL10A-3-3A engines. More...
  • Delta 3 American orbital launch vehicle. Delta 3 was an attempt by the manufacturer to provide the ultimate development of the original Delta booster. The core vehicle was beefed-up to accomodate much larger solid rocket boosters and a new cryogenic upper stage. However problems were incurred during development, resulting in the first two launches being failures. Meanwhile the satellite launch market crashed and the new vehicle was left without customers. The venerable Delta 7925 soldiered on for NASA, and the new Delta 4 series captured the USAF EELV requirement. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Orion American agency. Orion Satellite Systems, USA. More...
  • Palo Alto American manufacturer of rockets. Palo Alto, Palo Alto, California, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

Orion Chronology


1994 November 29 - . 10:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIA. LV Configuration: Atlas IIA AC-110 / Centaur II 8109.
  • Orion 1 - . Mass: 2,358 kg (5,198 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Orion. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Orion. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 2000. USAF Sat Cat: 23413 . COSPAR: 1994-079A. Apogee: 35,792 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. 34 Ku-band transponders for TV. Stationed at 37.48 deg W. Launch vehicle put payload into supersynchronous earth orbit with IFR trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 37 deg W in 1994-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 37.54 deg W drifting at 0.010 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 37.60W drifting at 0.015W degrees per day.

1999 May 5 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3. LV Configuration: Delta 8930 D269. FAILURE: Engine failure at ignition for second burn of Centaur stage.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Orion 3 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Palo Alto. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Orion. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 25727 . COSPAR: 1999-024A. Apogee: 2,529 km (1,571 mi). Perigee: 2,456 km (1,526 mi). Inclination: 19.8000 deg. Period: 138.60 min. The Centaur RL-10B-2 second stage engine's combustion chamber ruptured at the beginning of the second burn. The hot gases already in the chamber vented, putting the stage/spacecraft assembly into an uncontrollable tumble. The Orion 3 communications satellite ended up in a useless parking orbit of 162 km x 1378 km x 29.5 deg. It was to have served the Asia-Pacific region for Loral Orion with 33 Ku-band and 10 C-band transponders.

1999 October 19 - . 06:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP-3 V122.
  • Orion 2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Arianespace. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Program: Orion. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 25949 . COSPAR: 1999-059A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Satellite used for international communications; complement the Telstar satellites operated by Loral Skynet. Stationed at 15 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 15 deg W in 1999. As of 6 September 2001 located at 14.97 deg W drifting at 0.006 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 14.99W drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

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